Thomas Lornsen, University of Brunswick, wins the GO Award for his online course "Decadence, Nazis and the War: German Literature from 1900 to 1945"

The Canadian Association of Universites Teachers of German (CAUTG) and the Canada wide Informationplatform is pleased to announce the recipient of the second annual "German Online (GO) award" , a prize financed by the DAAD and administered by the CAUTG and, to recognize the best online course in the field of German Studies in Canada. This year's winner is Thomas Lornsen from the University of New Brunswick whose online course on Decadence, Nazis and the War: German Literature from 1900 to 1945, received first prize. Congratulations to Thomas!

In the Fall term of 2010 Thomas Lornsen taught the third-year course Decadence, Nazis and the War: German Literature from 1900 to 1945 at the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton. As a Learning Management System (LMS) he used Moodle (version 1.9.8), which he installed on a separate server. This allowed to customize virtually every aspect of the LMS, from FTP-access to modifying the source code. Each lecture had its own title and a separate section on the website (for Moodlers: I used the "Collapsed Topics"-format). In each block Dr. Lornsen posted links to primary texts and relevant secondary literature in the form of PDF-files or URLs to Google Books, Jstor and other online services. He also embedded images and videos from YouTube and Google Video. In order to encourage students to share their thoughts with the class Dr. Lornsen embedded interactive pin walls using Lino (, which allowed the anonymous posting of stickies. Anonymous course feedback was facilitated via embedded Google Forms ( On two occasions the results of in-class group work were scanned and the images made available on the course website using the free "lightboxgallery"-plugin. When a class had to be canceled, Dr. Lornsen recorded and posted the lecture as a podcast on the website. Since the files were rather large they were  uploaded the MP3s to my Dropbox account ( and linked to them on the course website. Moodle's media filter automatically replaced these links with embedded audio players, so students could listen to the lectures on the website. Throughout the course the students had to complete ten quizzes, which were posted, submitted and graded on the course website. Frequently these quizzes would contain images or embedded video clips from YouTube and Google Video.